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Dead By Sunset Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reissue edition (April 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671001132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671001131
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #232,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Another chilling and creepy book from the reigning queen of true-crime, Ann Rule, who also penned the riveting bestseller Small Sacrifices. Here, we encounter a charismatic con-artist accused of brutally bludgeoning his wife and follow his case through to its strangely redemptive end.

From Publishers Weekly

Brad Cunningham was handsome, brilliant, a high-school hero in his native Seattle, a football star at the University of Washington. His family background was unusual, with a Native American mother of whom he was ashamed and an Anglo father who was contemptuous of women. As an adolescent, Brad was violent with his sisters and his mother. This pattern continued in his first, second and third marriages but reached its apogee with his fourth wife, Cheryl Keeton, a highly successful lawyer by whom he fathered three sons. When their marriage collapsed and she sought custody of their children, Brad, a bank executive, threatened her; in September 1986, she was found bludgeoned to death in her car on an Oregon highway. The case remained unresolved until Cheryl Keeton's estate filed a civil suit for damages against Brad in 1991. A criminal trial followed in 1993, in which Brad was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 22 years. Rule (Small Sacrifices) provides a perceptive character analysis of a malignant, self-centered, charismatic con artist. It's a chilling, haunting portrait. Photos not seen by PW. 125,000 first printing; True Crime Book Club main selection; Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild and Mystery Guild featured alternates; Reader's Digest Nonfiction Condensed Book Club selection; Tri-Star/NBC-TV miniseries to air in November.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By jesse on Feb. 17 2007
Format: Audio Cassette
Responding to the reviewer who said she doesn't know why Cheryl went to the gas station alone that night when she knew she was in danger, there can be only one answer: Her twisted, sociopathic monster "husband" threatened to kill her children if she didn't do just that. Cheryl was an intelligent woman who knew the danger she was in and whose only protection/recourse was the ominous letter she left before leaving that night. And what decent, loving mother wouldn't have risked her own safety for the safety, even the very lives, of her kids? Here, too, one sees that no matter what sins the mother may have been guilty of prior to her marriage to this murderer, she certainly knew what side she was on after looking true evil straight in the eye. And, no question, this good mother's compassion, courage and love were proven beyond a reasonable doubt by her final and incomprehesible sacrifice, all of which shine forever from the grave. Bradley Cunningham deserves never to go free and deserved the death penalty.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ann Rule, the American true crime diva, has published plenty of books over the past 20+ years. Unfortunately the quality of this material has varied, largely depending on the personal (emotional) interest she has on the subject matter. Fortunately in Dead by Sunset, a story about a handsome and charming monster named Brad Cunningham, the author is clearly caught up in all aspects of a horrific crime (a wife/mother/attorney is bashed to a pulp). She in fact dedicates the book to the victim and all abused women.
Dead by Sunset's strengths are not in the unravelling of the crime (..we know early on who does it) or in the analysis of the criminal trials (..actually this is the weak part of the book). It is Ann Rule's in-depth analysis of the women who completely fall for an intelligent, sex-on-legs Romeo who really seems to hate women. Brad Cunningham is truly a vile person. But upon reading the book one has to wonder how is that several wives and mistresses could be fooled into loving him? Ann Rule never attempts at answering this question. Yet we certainly see the repurcussions of loving Mr Wrong.
Bottom line: while the momentum sputters slightly towards the end, one has to be impressed with Ann Rule's attention to detail and writing talents. Strongly recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of, if not the best in the True Crime genre, Ann Rule weaves the unbelievable, (if it weren't all true) tale of Brad Cunningham, left a widower when his wife's body was discovered in an abandoned car. The car was discovered in the fast lane of traffic with Cheryl Keeton's battered bodt behind the wheel, already dead. But all is not as it seems. Ann Rule is able to piece together the facts behind the case, especuially when family and police begin to believe that Brad is not just the grieving widower. With exhaustive research, Rule fills out the story, the marriage between Brad and Cheryl that started with such promise, and the children that became pawns in Brad's quest to get away from a crumbling marriage. Piecing together facts about his childhood , Rule draws a portrait of a ruthless killer who would sacrifice anything that could no longer help him, or threatened to get in his way. Detailing his financial manuverings, legal wranglings and multiple marraiges it is soon clear the "great catch" Brad Cunningham is not at all wht he appears. So if you are newly on the dating scene, take my advice, either give up reading Ann Rule, or get a good PI!
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By A Customer on Oct. 18 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first got interested in this story when I saw the made-for-TV movie by the same title. If you liked the movie, get the book, because Brad is so evil that the movie could not depict it in four hours. This very charismatic man could get just about any woman, no matter how attractive or intelligent, to do what he wanted: hand over tens of thousands of dollars for him to live on, become an exotic dancer, or divorce her husband for him. And once he got his hooks into someone, she was never, ever free. He knew how to stay one step ahead of the law always, and somehow as he was under enormous financial strain, he managed to stalk and torment several people at a time. His capacity for evil seemed boundless, and his case almost never went to trial. Reading it, I felt the fear these women must have felt, and the desperation that he'd never be caught.
The author does a good job of taking the long, complex story of Brad, Cheryl, and the others in their lives, and telling it in a way that we can keep track of the dozens of characters. There are many true crime books that just lose me in the multitudes of characters, but this one is organized into sections so that each of the main people gets his/her story told in one thread. The timeline jumps around a little, but it is relatively easy reading.
Just some minor problems: The book mentioned several times what a brilliant lawyer Cheryl was. She must have been, but I would have liked if this book gave more detail about her performance on the job. It seems like more detail was given to Brad's career (during the rare times he worked). Also, the book describes how Cheryl steals Brad from his third wife, and then during the civil trial, the prosecutor says, "...that wasn't what had happened at all." No matter who pursued who, she did in fact steal him.
Besides those two minor inconsistencies, it was a great story and I'm ready to start reading another Ann Rule book tomorrow!
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